Patriot League colleges and universities that play football will be allowed to award scholarships for recruits, the league's Council of Presidents announced Monday.
Beginning in the fall of 2013 each school will be permitted to award no more than the equivalent of 15 scholarships each year to incoming football student-athletes, including transfer student-athletes.
The total amount of all countable financial aid awarded to all football student-athletes may not exceed 60 equivalencies in any year.
“The Council of Presidents' decision to adjust the current need-based model of financial aid in football, which has been in effect since the founding of the League in 1986, comes after extensive study and discussion of alternative models and a thorough evaluation of the benefits and potential costs associated with athletic merit aid in the sport," said Daniel H. Weiss, Chair of the Patriot League Council of Presidents and President of Lafayette College. "The decision reflects the Presidents' shared vision and shared commitment to the stability and long-term positioning of the League and to its strength, competitiveness and quality.”
The immediate payoff won't be felt for several seasons, but the addition of scholarships will allow the Patriot League to be able to compete at a higher level.
“This approach for awarding athletic merit aid to football student-athletes will allow our member schools flexibility to determine the most effective use of their financial aid resources to attract highly-qualified Division I scholar-athletes in a very competitive academic and athletic marketplace,” said Patriot League Executive Director Carolyn Schlie Femovich. “The introduction of this financial aid model for football will strengthen the Patriot League's ability to compete for outstanding student-athletes while continuing to uphold the high academic standards of the League and its member institutions.”
Since its inception in 1986, Patriot League football was considered a separate entity and had maintained a need-limited approach with financial aid. With the permissive aid approach, institutions will now be able to determine the most effective way to award financial aid in football.